The death of Harambe, the gorilla killed at the Cincinnati Zoo over the weekend, has caused quite a stir around the country.
Ever since news broke that a 4-year-old boy fell 15 feet into the enclosure of a Silverback gorilla (causing the zoo to shoot and kill the animal) everyone had an opinion about the situation. The topics of bad parenting, animal rights, and child protection have already come to the forefront, but now the mother of all issues is rearing its ugly head: race.
It’s been revealed that the parents of the boy are African-American and the father has a long criminal history. According to reports, Michelle Gregg and Deonne Dickerson have four children together and Dickerson’s rap sheet is pretty extensive.
His criminal past includes charges like burglary, drug trafficking, criminal trespass, firearms offenses, disorderly conduct, and kidnap. Back in 2006, Dickerson was sentenced to one year behind bars for a drug trafficking conviction.
Michelle Gregg, who bore the brunt of most of the criticism as the child’s mother, works as the administrator at a Cincinnati pre-school. Prior to the parents’ race being identified, social media assumed that the mom of the little boy, heard yelling in the video of the incident, was White. Shade was definitely thrown:
Harambe is now the face of a social media movement, which spawned an online petition called “Justice for Harambe.” It is not only seeking justice for the slain gorilla, but wants the boy’s parents charged.
The petition reads:
“We the undersigned feel the child’s safety is paramount in this situation. We believe that this negligence may be reflective of the child’s home situation. We the undersigned actively encourage an investigation of the child’s home environment in the interests of protecting the child and his siblings from further incidents of parental negligence that may result in serious bodily harm or even death. Please sign this petition to encourage the Cincinnati Zoo, Hamilton County Child Protection Services, and Cincinnati Police Department hold the parents responsible.”
Despite all of the controversy surrounding Harambe, Michelle Gregg took to Facebook over the weekend to defend herself and admit that mistakes happen, writing that society is “quick to judge how a parent could take their eyes off of their child and if anyone knows me I keep a tight watch on my kids.”
The young boy, whose name has not been revealed, was released from Cincinnati Hospital Medical Center on Saturday night and is doing well, Cincinnatti.com reports. His family thanked zoo staff for their quick action in a statement released through Gail Myers Public Relations LLC:
“We extend our heartfelt thanks for the quick action by the Cincinnati Zoo staff. We know that this was a very difficult decision for them, and that they are grieving the loss of their gorilla.”
As of now, the Justice For Harambe petition has garnered over 300,000 signatures.
Celebrities Who Support PETA (PHOTOS)
1. Waka Flocka Flame let it hang loose in a "Ink Not Mink" PETA campaign.1 of 24
2. And he loves the pups!2 of 24
3. Bombshell Pamela Anderson is no stranger to posing for a variety of PETA campaigns.3 of 24
4. Pamela Anderson with one of her many dogs.4 of 24
5. Biebs posed for the organization supporting the fair treatment of animals.5 of 24
6. The Biebs took his love for animals a step further when he adopted a pet monkey, Mally. Unfortunately, the monkey was taken away because of international law.6 of 24
7. "Twilight" star Kellan Lutz proves that dogs are a man's best friend - only if they're adopted.7 of 24
8. Kellan Lutz out and about with his dog.8 of 24
9. Charlize Theron with her dog Tucker in an anti-fur PETA campaign.9 of 24
10. Charlize Theron seen taking a stroll with her two furry companions.10 of 24
11. Dennis Rodman got all D'Angelo on us in this 2008 PETA Campaign.11 of 24
12. Dennis Rodman chilling with Lucy Anne the chihuahua.12 of 24
13. Our favorite Kardashian, Khloe, showed A LOT of skin for the organization during an anti-fur campaign.13 of 24
14. Though she longer supports PETA (for dumping flour on her sis Kim), Khloe Kardashian still shows a huge stance against wearing real fur.14 of 24
15. Sultry Spanish actress Penelope Cruz gave some face for the organization back in 2012.15 of 24
16. Penelope Cruz playing with her dog in the rain.16 of 24
17. Eva Mendes bared her booty for PETA in 2007.17 of 24
18. Eva Mendes out with her dog Hugo.18 of 24
19. Alicia Silverstone definitely turned heads when the 'Clueless' star posed nude for PETA, promoting vegetarianism.19 of 24
20. Alicia Silverstone posing with her furry pup.20 of 24
21. Nia Long gets bare for PETA.21 of 24
22. The Situation did it.22 of 24
23. Hana Nitsche showed off her model body for PETA.23 of 24
24. Wendy Williams got in on the PETA action.24 of 24
Animal Rights Or Racism? Crazy New Details About The Boy Who Fell In The Gorilla Exhibit was originally published on globalgrind.com